Liquid Chromatography– Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry for Cannabinoid Profiling and Quantitation in Hemp Oil Extracts
A primary impediment to cannabinoid research is the fact that materials possessing psychoactive Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are considered Schedule I drugs as defined in the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. An alternative source of cannabinoids may be found in hemp oil extracts. Hemp contains a low percentage of THC by weight but relatively high amounts of nonpsychoactive cannabinoids. The liquid chromatography–time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC–TOF-MS) method presented herein allows for the accurate, precise, and robust speciation, profiling, and quantification of cannabinoids in hemp oil extracts and commercial cannabinoid products for research and development laboratories. The method was determined to chromatographically separate 11 cannabinoids including differentiation of Δ8-tetrahdrocannabinol and THC with excellent linear dynamic range, specificity, and sensitivity.